TIMOR-LESTE 2012

Victor Valley College Tropical Research Initiative
Herpetofauna of Timor-Leste
Phase VII

Fiuren, Bobonaro District

We twice, by day and night, visited a dry forest area at Fiuren, near Balibo and searched for reptiles and amphibians. The large numbers of pigs and chickens in the forest probably meant there were few terrestrial species left but we did see one Four-fingered skink (Carlia sp.) that evaded capture.

Dry forest near Balibo
A fish-eye effect of a liana-shrouded forest tree

We did find herps however, including Striped treefrogs (Polypedates cf. leucomystax) and Tokay geckos (Gekko gecko gecko). One of the treefrogs went into "unken reflex" when disturbed,a defensive posture involving arching the back and covering the eyes with the forelimbs.

Tokay gecko
Gekko gecko gecko
Striped treefrog
Polypedates cf. leucomystax
and the joys of leaping frog photography
(middle photo: Sven Mecke)
Can you find the treefrog?
Striped treefrog
Polypedates cf. leucomystax

note defensive "unken reflex"
Striped treefrog
Polypedates cf. leucomystax

 

The night hunt produced more lizards than the day hunt, Indo-Pacific gecko (Hemidactylus cf. garnotii), Mutilated gecko (Gehyra mutilata) and Bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus sp.10), although the day hunt turned up two Emerald tree skinks (Lamprolepis cf. smaragdina).

Mutialted gecko
Gehyra mutilata
note autotomised skin on flank
Indo-Pacific gecko
Hemidactylus sp. garnotii
Bent-toed gecko
Cyrtodactylus sp.10
Emerald tree skink
Lamprolepis cf. smaragdina

We found two Island wolfsnakes (Lycodon capucinus), one in the dry forest at night and one DOR in the daytime. Today was our last "field day".

Island wolfsnake
Lycodon capucinus
Island wolfsnake (road-kill)
Lycodon capucinus
Maliana-Balibo road

 

Since Zito was with us we took the opportunity of having him interview the villagers about reptiles and amphibians they may have seen in the area. He had proven expert at interviewing villagers and at using the "Species Identification Cards" on Ataúro Island on Phase VI so he was a natural choice to run the same test at Fiuren, plus the people where Bobonaro people like himself.

Zito interviews the locals using the SICs
Species Identification Cards

 

We also found some interesting spiders, beetles and bugs which have yet to be identified.
We are herpetologists first and foremost so we are grateful for any expert identificationsof invertebrates. Please use this contact form to let us know:

Orb-weaving spider
Argiope sp.
Araneidae
Orb-weaving spider
Argiope
sp.
Araneidae
Unidentified spider found under bark
Spiny orb-weaving spider
Gasteracantha
sp.
Araneidae
Spiny orb-weaving spider
Gasteracantha
sp.
Araneidae
Brown huntsman spider
Heteropoda venatoria

Sparassidae
Jewel beetle
Buprestidae
Curious flat bug found under bark
Hemiptera